Digital Mail Merge

Digital Mail Merge for Parent Contacts

Learn three easy ways to provide personalized parent communication using Gmail and some great add-ons that will make connections a breeze.

Why Didn't You Keep Me in the Loop?

Keeping parents informed about their child’s progress is a critical, but very time-consuming job in education. But it can make a huge difference in that child’s learning.

Parent involvement in a child’s academic life has a positive impact and can motivate students to learn and behave appropriately.

Often, parents want to be supportive of what is happening in the classroom, but lack information on how to accomplish that.

We’ll explore three simple ways to provide parent communication using Google Sheets and a convenient add-on to help automate this process a little.

Missed the presentation? Watch this video to get caught up!

Protect Your Privacy

Learn how to use a free tool, Google Voice for your personal Google account, to make parent phone calls. Learn what settings are best, etc. We'll start from scratch.

#1 - Yet Another Mail Merge (YAMM)

An easy tool for sending emails, Yet Another Mail Merge relies on draft messages you’ve put together in Gmail. It pulls those emails up from your DRAFTS (you can “Compose” a message, then save it to the DRAFTS folder in Gmail). The email is addressed using email addresses that you’ve prepared in a Google Sheet and allows you to quickly “spam” or bulk email people.

The main benefit of YAMM is that you can add file attachments to your DRAFT email. The email attachments, of course, are sent when you use the YAMM add-on. This is helpful when you have prepared a paper form or publication (digital newsletter) in PDF format that you need to distribute. You can watch this short video tutorial if you would like to see how to use YAMM.

How to do mail merge with Yet Another Mail Merge (Gmail & a spreadsheet)

#2 - Form Mule

Need to send out Home Learning Codes for Seesaw? Seesaw provides you with a comma-delimited file that you can use. They advise you to send out a mail merge, but how do you do that?

Take advantage of the Google Sheets’ add-on Form Mule. It allows you to quickly create information in Google Sheets and then “email merge” it together. This can result in nicely nuanced messages as you create specific feedback or share information. Comments can be placed in different columns. Some examples of English comments can be seen in this blog from Scholastic and Spanish ones are available here.

To begin using FormMule, go to your Add-Ons menu in Google Sheets. Then select “Launch” from FormMule. FormMule presents itself with the first screen shown below. You simply have to make a few selections to get started. You can also watch this video for more tips.

#3 - Email Parents via Alice Keeler

Google wizard Alice Keller has also created a Google Sheets add-on known as Email Parents.

Alice provides an illustrated tutorial of her add-on online at her blog Teacher Tech with Alice Keeler.

Addendum: Manage Add-ons in Google Sheets

You can find a variety of Google Sheets add-ons. Here’s a quick overview of how to get to them:

  1. Open Google Sheets by doing one of the following:
    1. Go to Google Drive and create a new Sheet OR
    2. Go to to Google Sheets
  2. Click on Add-Ons and select “Get Add-Ons.” You can see what this looks like to the left.

Bonus Tip from Colleague, Diana Benner

Keep Track of Student Communication with Google Sheets

Use Google Sheets to keep track of how and when you are communicating with students and vice versa.